Finsally reached Chrsitchurch at noon and went straight out hunting for some pieces to finish my fancy dress custome for the halloween party in Base tonight. I went with Rachael who needed to source an entire costume.
We checked out cathedral sq and watched the giant chess being played - then started with the shops. C'church is a huge city (perhaps the largest in the south with 400,000) and a good shopping centre.
Blown away by the friendliness of everyone. It is also called the Garden city (as it has a lot of national parks).
Randomly found the canadians and as a group we scoured the shops and got everything we need.
A few hours later I was scaring lots of people with my creepy "Crow" look! After the party we ended up at some cheesey club that I left pretty quick in search of a midnight snack. infact this came in the form of a Samaritan Bun van. Honestly they forced a raisin bun on me and then had a surreal chat with a very sober homeless man.
Next day was hangover recovery day but I did trek out to the antarctic centre. Was expensive and ultimately not that much to do there. The highlight was a close encounter with blue penguins.
After this headed back to C'church and to the modern art gallery. Saw some fantastic pics by Seraphine Pick and Tom Hammond.
Then back to the hostel for a nice night in. Well would have been nice except the hostel locked the laundry with my drying clothes in!
Today we headed to kaikoura. The scene of hitherto the best experience of the holiday. I booked a whale watch cruise. In the terminal they were reporting severe weather warnings with servere sea sickness warning. Unheeded (and with a lot of sea sickness pills inside me) we headed out in a catamorang that flew more that floated over the waves. Once out though I was amply rewarded: First up was a couple of Albertros but then; We got with 10m of a Giant Sperm Whale called Tekapo (Guardian in Mauri as he protected a juvenile Sperm from a pod of Orcas).
Got some great pics too which I will upload. From there though it just got better and better. On the way back the crew spotted a juvenile Humpback (Really rare sight nowadays) and we pulled in to watch him for a while. He was there because of a huge feeding frenzy that saw Barracudas literally jumping out of the water. In one shot I took a pic of the whale with seals swimming in the background and apparently dolphins a way off.
Then just when we thought things couldnt get better we spot a small pod of Hector Dolphins. These are one of the rarest species and I got an amazing video of them.
Tomorrow morning I swim with dolphins at 5am! Should be fun eh?